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A Quest for Unity

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Year: 1997 ...

Survey Results - AAA General Profile

Your comments on - Witchcraft in the Public Eye

Survey Results - Explaining your Religion/Personal Belief

Survey Results - Out of the Broom Closet

Survey Results - Witchcraft in the Public Eye

Survey Results - Teachers of the Craft

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Your comments on - Explaining your Religion/Personal Belief

Survey Results - Working with Groups

A Quest for Unity ( 1)

Your comments on - Teachers of the Craft

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Unity Essays from YOUR Community

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A Quest for Unity ( 2)

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Article Specs

Article ID: 2034

VoxAcct: 9

Section: unity

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 8,010

Times Read: 3,874

Your comments on - Teachers of the Craft Page2

Author: Pagan Communities
Posted: September 16th. 1997
Times Viewed: 3,874

Initial Thoughts from the Community (the first 24 hours)

YOUR comments on...

Tell us about YOUR TeachersPage #2
(as of Friday 9/5/97 6:00 pm)

Survey Sez...

"I think a good teacher has the following qualities.1. He or she must have patience.2. He or she must be willing to learn from the student should a new point of view or suggestion present itself. No teacher knows everything.3. He or she must develop a close bond with the student and have a system of trust.4. He or she must respect the student as much as the teacher expects to be respected.Magick and magickal traditions have the unique quality of having a fluctuating diversity that is subjective to everyone. No two students will be alike. The student should get a good base training and appropriate traditional background and have their particular strong points honed. It is a truest art and no two artistic interpretations ever match. If they did it would be defeating the purpose.I also place a very high value on a good sense of humor. Sure there are serious aspects but it should never come across as grim."

"A good teacher loves his/her students. Love being defined here as being FOR their student and FOR what the student most wants. Having a strong background in scholarship is helpful. Knowing where the information originates is helpful. Having and stating goals relevant to community and individual health is helpful. But without genuine love for the teaching and the student it just will not work.Initiation is for the student not the teacher. A good teacher will recognize this and arrange a powerful but personal ceremony. The initiation to any tradition must give value first to the initiate.The initiate is then free to give value back to the tradition.A good teacher should be like the great oak. The most deep-rooted of trees and the one that supports and nourishes the other trees."

"I think a good teacher is one who can pass on their knowledge and accept that passing it on allows it to change and grow. Not all knowledge is meant to be shared there is some that can only be understood with time and prior knowledge - prerequisites if you will.Humans are not computers and the knowledge grows and adapts as it gets passed on with each person adding their own unique perspective to it. I get upset with people saying so and so is not a real witch or pagan or whatever oh my because their tradition is invalid. Only the Gods determine what is valid or not. If it works for you it works for you."

"Hard for me to say. I am a solitary who has leaned through books and personal practice."

"People too often think there is a perfect teacher... when humans are by nature imperfect there can be no such thing as a perfect teacher. What there Can be is an ideal teacher for the individual student. Large classes are more likely to have only one or two persons that will learn to the teacher/student potential and the rest will depart with minimal knowledge efficiency. I find it best to work on your own first and the ideal teacher will make her appearance when the time is right. Rushing out and screaming GIVE ME A TEACHER is more than likely going to push away the good teachers and bring in the folks that think they know it all. Usually the Wiccan in practice less than a few weeks and absolutely DYING to show the world how great he is and how much MORE he knows than anyone else. And always remember......Those who know Everything Learn Nothing."

"I've never really had a teacher. I was introduced into the Craft by a friend she gave me good advice on what and what not to do. The rest of my learning has been from books. I would like to have an actual teacher some time just to see if I'm doing everything correctly. Hopefully I wont be disappointed by clashes in belief systems."

"Understand that I am nearly entirely self-taught. At one time I relied on others to teach me... but once I had progressed to the point that I began to understand the underlying principles I began to study and learn on my own. I have read many works by many authors... all of whom I feel are perfectly valid and accurate within the scope that they were attempting to illuminate... these things I have incorporated in part or parcel into my personal belief system... all this in addition to my own philosophies and discoveries. When I pass on to others... I do so with the clear understanding that what I tell them is MY perception understanding of the topics. I feel that ALL teachers should do this... since it is incumbent upon each teacher to urge her/his students to seek their own relationship understanding of Deities. It should be made clear that there are few hard and fast rules and that all else are guidelines. A good teacher initially imparts the ability to understand general concepts...then teaches the student to seek to know and understand for oneself."

"I love being solitary but several friends that I love dearly are asking me serious questions about the Craft. I am feeling my limits in ways that I haven't since I became Pagan. I think I am rapidly approaching the point where I cant teach myself any more without help and I've only been in this Craft less than a year and a half I don't like rigidity or formality it disgusts me. So do people who consider me or other solitaries and those self-taught invalid. As Scott Cunningham asked Who initiated the first Wiccan I think Ill need several teachers but maybe we all do. I practice a combination of Hungarian and Celtic Witchcraft and a less-formal version of Voodoo. It works for me. I hope I will be able to find a teacher I am comfortable with. I do know what the ground rules are--no exorbitant pricing no sex no control freaks But I do see where since Pagan clergy doesn't have big congregations a charge may be asked for services. I don't mind paying if I see results. Teachers want to be paid for their time and trouble and they need to eat too.Blessed be--Jayelle Lukash"

"I haven't had any formal teaching just reading and self practice."

"A good teacher is someone who expects hands-on learning. Teaching by rote and memorization does not cut it. A good teacher will also engage their students in discussion and challenging debate. A good teacher also realizes that we are all both teachers and students. We each have things to learn and to teach from and to others."

"The best teachers offer a framework or foundation that each individual student can build upon. The good teachers never say...this is my way and it is the ONLY right way. Good teachers ENCOURAGE students to read and experience the thoughts and teachings of many other teachers and are willing to discuss same. Good teachers allow students lots of freedom and guidance. Good teachers outline procedures and rituals etc and then get out of the students way and let him or her experience it for them self...then the teacher offers to discuss and answer questions. A good teacher has to keep one eye on tradition and the other on individuality and be true to both. As for question 53...I think that the ethics of the pagan community in general could use some improvement. But I'm beginning to think an ethical sense is something inborn like an instinct or maybe it is genetic. At any rate some have it and some do not. But I have serious doubts whether ethics and be taught."

"In a fairly large city with practically no pagan community meaning that there are pagans but that we don't get together have open circles and have trouble finding each other I didn't even know that Wicca or any other pagan paths existed. I tried to fit into the niche that I thought had been carved out for me. I tried to be a really good Catholic but when I was about eleven I started to read the books by Jane Auel mostly Valley of the Horses. Normally you wouldn't think that a novel could really change a persons life so much the religion in her novel made more sense to me than Catholicism ever had. It still wasn't quite right but it was closer. Even then I tried to be Catholic because I knew that my mother would not understand. By the time I was thirteen I still tried to be a good Catholic but it really was not happening because I did not believe. When I finally found Wicca and other pagan religions it was through other books by Amber K Scott Cunningham ray Buckland and others. I read the books and then listened to my heart which my head had the information it needed I could now hear clearly and while all the authors I read and A friend who went through the book phase at the same time I did got me on the road the lord and lady and my mind and my heart were my true teachers and through listening to them and my intuition I learned more than I found in any book because in books its hard to go through without getting caught on the trappings and the outside cover. Its easy to follow a ritual out of a book and not really feel it but when the right words come from you and the lack of candles doesn't bother you and you feel the lord and lady there laughing at your mistakes along with you and you don't need the book to show you the light because it shined on its own then what you learn is taught by the best teacher of all. Love. Bright blessings. Rowanflame."

"Teacher is a very special calling that hold a unique place in any community. The teacher is like a guide a mentor a parent a guru or what ever name you wish to apply. It is a station above the average and therefore requires more that average morale and ethical standards. Peace and Joy to all."

"I am a 20 year old self initiated solitary Wiccan. I had to learn everything I know from books that were very vague about specifics. I now live in Denver Co. and have many new and exiting resources available to me. But I still cant find a teacher. All I can find now is better books. Not to say that book learning is bad or anything but actually learning from a real live person beats it. But everywhere I go it costs no less than 50 dollars a month for impersonal classes. There is very little personal interaction between individuals and their teachers. It is done en masse very businesslike. It seems very impersonal and sterile and Id like an environment in which to learn more about my chosen path that has more individually based teaching and that isn't run like some kind of business. It makes it look as though these teachers are in it for the money and profit not the true beauty of Wicca Neo Pagan religions themselves. Also another problem grows from this. It is incredibly difficult to hook up with any reputable coven being self initiated doesn't count for them You have to go through classes anyway to learn about that covens particular trad. Then you must be initiated by them and it all costs ridiculous amounts of money. Its not fair. All my life I have been wanting to come out of the broom closet and find a good teacher since I am thirsty for knowledge. But unfortunately I cannot afford it. I know that everything costs something these days. But it seems harder and harder to find a good teacher who isn't in it for the money and is also not one of those types that like to prey on naive people like me. What makes a good teacher I don't know for sure. But I'm sure a good teacher is one who is doing it out of pride for our beautifully unique religion not for greed. Susan Buck aka Sparrow Denver Co."

"Sorry but I think I will rant. It seems that too many students and teachers are caught up in title games. Just today I saw a flyer offering various services from the Reverend Doctor Something or other. Reverend Doctor Sounds like a Southern Baptist to me. I do not think that I am alone in saying that titles and such really do not do much for me... Present your IDEAS... not your title... and they will take flight."

"I personally think teachers should be easier to find."

"A good teacher is one who imparts his/her knowledge to the student who realizes that he/she does not know everything who has genuine concern for the student and who takes the time and interest necessary for the development of the student. Of course a good teacher should hold themselves to higher ethical standards while still understanding that we are all only human. After all the teacher is a role model for the student and can not expect the student to strive for a higher code of ethics if the teacher does not do so. Also a good teacher should never place him or her self on a pedestal or lead anyone to believe anything that they know to not be true. As to taking money for teaching I feel it is fine if the teacher does not slip into the old trap of greed or of treating this as a business rather than a calling to the community."

"A good teacher is willing to risk the anger and frustration of the student. A good teacher encourages both magickal and spiritual growth."

"Let me clarify my answer to question 53. I said no but this is because I think the entirety of the community needs to hold to a higher ethical standard if we are to be accepted as valid by outsiders. Now that being said I think that ideals not withstanding the clergy and teachers need to be as ethical as possible. They are the folks who are most likely to be seen by the general public so they need to be the cream of the crop. I am self-dedicated and consider myself a beginner even after 6 years. I've been amazed at the open accepting attitude of teachers with credentials and lineages and formal initiation. I expected to be ignored at best laughed at or ridiculed at worst. That has not happened. I've been accepted for some reason I can not understand. As for what makes a good teacher... There are lots of teaching styles. Some are classical instruction. Some play on intuition. Some teach by experience. The only thing I've seen that makes a good teacher is an open mind. As a friend put it recently often the teacher learns as much or more than the student. Students do things differently see things differently. Some of it has to do with generational differences some with upbringing but it is there. A teacher who cannot accept that the for example the student cannot deal with the same color correspondences or something isn't likely to be a good teacher for most students.Blessings P"

"My own teacher is passed between now and I still feel the bond still turn to her for guidance when I am lost. It has been my experience as both a student/seeker and as a teacher/mentor that a lifelong bond is shared between the two when such a pairing is right. Life force destiny Karma whatever becomes inextricably linked. It is therefore an undertaking not to be entered into lightly. I am not talking about a class in herbalism or a seminar in evocation vs invocation I speak of a real apprenticeship. As a student my teacher rarely answered questions posing instead other questions to me which would set me upon the track I needed to find. Before she left me she told me a teacher must learn as much from her student as she teaches and then she thanked me ME. It has been fourteen years since then and I have my own student now and can begin to see what she meant. I enjoy the odd seminar or lecture and attend them when I can and I always try to include my student. I think it is important that she see I do not know everything or have all the answers. Indeed the answers will change dependent upon the individual and circumstances. All I can really do is present the right questions and oftentimes we discover the answers together."

"A good teacher is one concerned with there students ability to preform when they are no longer around. A great example was Merlin in the 21 lessons of Merlin by Douglas Monroe"

"all of my learning has been through books and experience. I am self dedicated and initiated and see no reason why these should not be valid - although perhaps not always the easiest way to learn"

"I am a solitary wiccan and have in the past few years sought out covens in the area just to have something in common with a group of people. The coven members were not very friendly when they found out I had been practicing solitarily for several years. The one coven that I did get to pay me any attention was very strange. The high priest gave me the willies and was teaching 13 year olds the ways of the craft in exchange for sexual favors. Needless to say he was arrested a few days ago. What a PR message to send to an already misinformed public.I have also talked to some people who gave seminars and classes. While the majority of them seemed to really care about their particular subject I found a lot that you could tell were only in it for the money.The woman who brought me into the craft was a very patient and understanding one. I loved having her as a teacher. She let me do things on my own and didn't get all hysterical when my rituals were not quite right. Mistakes are human and I think that teachers need to remember that not everyone is as experienced as they are or they wouldn't be needing a teacher."

"Charging money for spiritual training is a very odd idea for me. Information and communication are paramount. Some teachers and members of the community are truly gifted. I was taught that this is a gift so why would one charge. It just seems like that is not the point."

"Teachers in general should uphold a higher standard of ethics and behavior than the people around them. To me there is nothing more sacred on this earth than those who can be called Teacher. Anyone who takes the position of Teacher lightly and manipulates or in any way harms their students makes a mockery of that position. Pagan Teachers have an added responsibility of conveying the love that is inherent in Pagan traditions. They should I believe be involved in their students lives. Every part of our life comes together to make us who we are so its important for the Teacher to understand all aspects of their students lives to truly teach them what they need to know.As far as who is the better Teacher in reference to coven member or solitaire that depends solely on the student and what she/he wants to learn. Its not up to us to validate the practitioner be they solitaire or coven member. That responsibility is between that person and the Goddess or their chosen deity. When you come face to face with that chosen deity you'll know if what you are doing is correct or not. They will tell you believe me. And in that moment of judgment or whatever whether or not the rest of us had validated you wont matter one iota. An it harm none do what thou will...remember"

"TEACHERS I believe a good Pagan Teacher will impart their wisdom and experiences to their pupil much like a loving parent will. The Teacher will love their pupil like a doting grandparent having a respect for the pupils growing pains. The Teacher will take the sometimes emotional learning process into account and will answer all questions put to Him/Her with much thought. It will come to you if it The Craft Magick is meant for you is not an answer which will suffice. If the Teacher truly does not know the answer to a question He/She will research it meditation books going to the Gods and Goddesses working with Totems until an answer is found. The Teacher will neither charge for the learning Perhaps only for books if the Teacher is REALLY unable to afford them nor will make sexual demands on the pupil. The Teacher will realize that the pupil is there for their learning experience as well as the pupils and will utilize this experience to grow. The Teacher will also know when it is time to let the pupil go...that they have taught their pupil all they know. They will release the pupil in love.TRAINING Although I respect Teachers I believe a person can learn from books Nature the Gods and Goddesses Themselves. I don't believe a person HAS to have a Teacher. I come from a lineage of Pagan my Fathers Father was a Druid my Mothers Mother was a Witch but I believe the bulk of the work is on the individual themself to gain knowledge.INITIATION I am self- initiated by the Gods and Goddesses. I believe it is what is in the persons heart their intents and motivations which will provide a worthy initiation. I don't believe a person has to be a Coven member to be a Witch. Again it is what is in their heart soul and mind. FYRE PHOENIX aka b. Norris Perry MHR"

"A good teacher is open to many paths. a good teacher guides the student to find that path that is best for them in this lifetime. A good teacher is the most valuable resource a student has a bad teacher can turn a student away from their path for an entire lifetime"

"Aren't we all teachers?"

"I got very lucky with my training because my mother was my teacher. There was no haggling over fees or whether she was better or more experienced thus the boss. She taught me what she knew in a loving concise manner that was very different from the everyday mom mode. I have had teachers after her and several I've left due to various reasons. I believe that teachers in the Craft and other areas should be more in tune with what their students are feeling and should see if they need help. All to often I've had a teacher telling me that they can help whenever I need it only to find that what they really mean is when it is convenient to them."

"Some of my first experiences with formal training left me thinking I wasn't a real Witch....To this day I continue to be very leery of other Witches preaching their Dogma as the only way. Sometimes the best teacher is just have to be willing to learn. Soraya"

"I believe a good teacher is one who has the best interests of the student at heart. They are sharing information gotten through time and experience but need to know that students can be teachers too.It seemed that what is best sought is the idea that the teacher merely helps awaken knowledge within the student and leads them into a greater understanding of self.A good teacher will give all the information available but allow the student at the end to follow what feels right to them.Ethics need to be a large part of the training. Ethics that build character in a loving an conscious manner. Its not about the biggest wants, the most degrees and the prettiest mojo bag. It is about spirit and connection with the Gods with the community with humankind."

"A sincere desire to share knowledge with the student and help him/her to find their own way."

"teachers come to students in a variety of ways just as students come to teachers in variety of ways. i know nothing teaching the traditions and paths of pagan religions in a business sense. because of the persecution of witches and other pagan religious practices i believe that finding a teacher of validity if one sticks to a limited definition of teacher would be difficult...especially if in a secluded region of the bible belt."

"I have had one teacher in my life that truly touched me because she believed what she taught. She was not pushy but she was strong and only taught when I finally found that I truly wanted to learn. A good teacher to me is someone that a student could compare with maybe with similar experiences and has knowledge of a few areas not just one."

"I have never had a teacher. The area I live in is not exactly intensely Pagan so I do not even really know many Pagans besides myself and my sister. I certainly do not know any adult Pagans. What I do know is that people my own age have approached me many times and asked me to teach them to be Witches. Often what they really mean is Teach me to work magick so that I never have to lift a finger again except to gesture for more grapes. Even if they are really interested however I do not feel like I am qualified to teach them I have been practicing for about a year and a half and I do not feel ready to take on a student--especially one I hardly know.A good teacher really must have several years of experience. A good teacher should be friends with his/her students--but not really good friends because the teacher student relationship could definitely put a strain on that. A good teacher needs to know his/her own limitations and not be afraid to admit them. Although a good teacher must care for his/her students he/she must also know when not to get involved. I hope someday I can find one because I think there is much value in skills learned FROM another person. Books are good. The self is good. But other people have something to offer too."

"I am a solitary wiccan. My teachers were various books internet sources and most importantly that small voice deep inside.The books and such were really just a springboard for my own thoughts. The idea that you MUST be initiated into such and such a path and that you MUST have been initiated by THESE certain people is rather uncomfortably close to saying OUR way is the one TRUE way.....A common stance taken by most Christians. Are we then to follow the ways of those that have persecuted Pagans for years on end Id rather not myself....."

"My first teacher was my much loved Scots grandmother who tried in her wonderful patient fashion to teach me why she did what she did and that her way was not the only way Witches worshipped. I tried really hard to understand but I was under 10 at the time and understanding is a bit difficult at that age. My second and last teacher was a most amazing woman who took my hand encouraged me to go where I wanted to go loved me and let me know when I needed correction - sometimes not too gently but I needed that sometimes. She served more as a guide and mentor than a shut up and listen to me I've got wisdom to impart type. She made sure I learned what I felt I needed to learn. She absolutely stressed that what was right for ME was not necessarily right for everybody else and that the last thing the Pagan religions needed was to become hidebound and dogmatic like many of the Christian religions. Shed been a solitary her whole life and was never considered valid by any of the recognized traditions - she thumbed her nose at them. Some of that spilled over to me - I'm solitary as well and could care less whether or not others think my experiences training and self-initiation are valid to anyone else. They are valid to me and I have felt the presence of the Goddess - I assume from that that She considers me valid. What else does a Witch need"

"I have only had one teacher and she really wasn't a formal one. She had more experience than I as far as practical magik. We tried she tried to get a group going but there were ego problems. Everyone wanted to be heard but nobody wanted to listen. The issue of who was the teacher and who was the student was hotly debated. I left the group and her E-mail circle because I felt that her ego and self righteousness was overwhelming and that the group wasn't about paganism but about power and domination. I would love to have a guide to help me on my Path but I fear that this will be a solitary journey for me."

"A good teacher never forgets that they are also the eternal student. Sometimes the lessons we need to learn in our own lives come in the forms of our students. therefore they should be treated respectfully as precious gifts from the God and Goddess."

"I think that a good teacher is one who can really teach the basics well and who provides opportunities to experience a wide variety of magickal and religious techniques.I do think that self learning and self initiation can be valid if the individual is able to make the inner planes connection and takes the oath."

"The same traits that make a good parent ... friend ... make a good teacher."


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